Good Natured Advice Thread (improving a business wardrobe)

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Claghorn, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. luv2breformed

    luv2breformed Senior member

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    Yea, now that I think about it, I have a couple of casual suits that would really love a dark brown semi-brogue. Can suede bals be worn with a suit?

    Also, stick around for a purge today, guys. Gonna need some input.
     
  2. TweedyProf

    TweedyProf Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    @Mimo

    I think on garza grossa
    the transparency would be too much. On Fina ok, only visible if held up as in your pic. I'm leaning towards self tipped on a grossa, but hey that will change in 5 min!
     
  3. archibaldleach

    archibaldleach Senior member

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    @luv2breformed, just get 6 pairs of shoes. Where Mimo and I differ is not so much on whether a brown semi-brogue is useful (it absolutely is), but whether it is a top 5 shoe for someone who doesn't wear suits often or say a top 6-7 shoe.

    Well, that and the whole idea of wearing oxfords in a casual context (I don't get how one can suggest that oxfords should be worn with suits, which suggests they are formal, but can also be worn in a casual context). I think if you can dress down an oxford, you can dress up a monk which is why I think you really only need the black oxfords in your top 5 (though you'll eventually want a pair of brown oxfords). Derbys also can work with casual suits in the tweed or woolen flannel variety. I would stick to oxfords or perhaps a sleek monkstrap (not conservative business dress to do this but you don't need to be CBD).

    Also, if you do get something in suede, I would consider a pair of loafers, monks or derbys. It will go better with much of your wardrobe (particularly if you have a second pair of oxfords).
     
  4. sugarbutch

    sugarbutch Bearded Prick Dubiously Honored

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    It goes against the SF conventional wisdom/ fetishism, but I find that standard, three-fold-with-lining construction works great for ties. The multi-fold silk seems more like luxury for luxury's sake rather than performance-related.
     
  5. New Shoes1

    New Shoes1 Senior member

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    I tend to agree with your views on oxfords, but have found a suede oxford to be the one exception. I think a suede oxford is pretty versatile because it is perfect with a casual ensemble as well as with jacket and tie. I'm not a fan of suede with a worsted suit, though.
     
  6. AJL

    AJL Senior member

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    What about when CBD is not the objective, or even BD for that matter? I submit myself as a somewhat unusual subject for the Council's ministrations, indeed an outlier, as someone who does not play "dress up" on a daily basis (co-owner of a residential contracting outfit). I am looking to cobble together a small handful of flexible, high quality fits for dining out, special occasions and basic cultural events in a range from understated elegance to "sporty". A little bit city, a little bit country. I would describe my style and dressing objective as being somewhat subdued: I want to be the best dressed man in the room, but not appear as if shouting for attention. Bright colors generally do not suit me, nor loud patterns or busy pattern matching (at least not to this point). Not that I don't admire it in others when well executed (you know who you are, or, um, maybe you dont..sorry). That said, I do go in for a touch of flair: thumbs up to hanks, sportier shoes & boots and rich, contrasting fabrics and textures.

    My current selection is a bit pathetic, either due to poor fit, poor selection, and/or purchasing things I thought I'd like w/o regard to how it would fit into an overall plan. I have a fair amount of cotton and cotton blend pants in fairly neutral colors in the Incotex/Mabitex and similar range, a few other oddball pieces in varying colors and patterns, several really nice Panta wool trous that have sadly been hanging neglected in my closet for a few years because I'm too much of a fatass to fit them, and a few other wool and cashmere pairs.

    I dislike most of my shirts as they are either ill-fitting, difficult to match, not really my style or just plain fugly, or any combination thereof. Currently holding on to a couple of Mazz and Inglese's each, as previously, and somewhat frustratingly, iterated. Must decide whether they are "good enough" fit-wise or not.

    Currently I have only two wearable suits: a medium gray w/ brown chalk stripe Sartorio heavy flannel and a greyish-blue Isaia with a subtle lighter blue window pane (hello Noodles); and one wearable SC: a rather mediocre Zegna navy wool blazer. For better or worse I also occasionally wear the Isaia as an odd jacket.

    I have a very small collection of mostly (I think) decent, useful ties: a few Drake's, Panta's, etc, neats, grenadines, a cashmere herringbone, raw silk stripe, and so on. Inspired by a fit pic from this thread (forget whose) I also have a brown neat from Shibumi en route. Some ties pretty sure I will sell as I'm not sure I see them fitting either my aesthetic, or my overall plan.

    Pocket squares are meagre and uninteresting at best: a few cottons, linens, & silk neats, though I must also point out I am the proud possessor of an original RJ Cat memorial silk square. I'm thinking I would like to have some Drake's Ancient Madders and Navajos in my life.

    Shoes are about the only category I have any degree of confidence in, albeit with an emphasis on more casual boots: dark brown Vass chukka on F last, Vass scotch grain boot on P2, Lobb brown chelsea boot, another Lobb lace boot, chestnut EG chukka, C&J med. brown suede chukka, C&J MacCallum shell boots, Lobb Fould monk in dark brown, a C&J brown suede blucher, a few other odd pairs, and come to think of it, the only pair of formal dress shoes I own: a pair of black EG bals I hardly ever wear. Just sold a pair of ill-fitting Lobb Vales in Chestnut Museum, but really, the style and last did not suit me either.

    My objective is to end up with maybe 2 decent cold weather and 2 warmer weather suits, flexible and solid enough for a variety of occasions (I'm sure the austerity is shocking to many of you), and perhaps 4-6 very nice, wearable SC's. I'm thinking solid navy to medium blue, and solid medium to lighter greys for the suits in interesting fabrics and textures, and perhaps the same in SC's with a few additional patterned coats that will be fairly easily paired--herringbone, gunclub check, other? 4-6 dress shirts in white, light blue and smaller stripes, and also some more casual sport shirts. Maybe 4 wool trous and 4 cotton/cotton blend (dammit, I really love the light grey and med. brown Pantas hanging in my closet! Have lost some weight in past 6 mos, still not enough). A dozen very wearable ties? 6 or so squares. No limit on shoes. :slayer:

    I guess you could look at this like a desert island exercise, though in my case I'll actually be living on the island. Or so I tell myself. Again, looking for quality, not quantity, albeit on a limited budget. I have always been a bargain hunter, but experience has informed me that the worst value is the unworn garment taking up space in your closet. Not in a rush, so happy to add things gradually as time and my budget allow (though I'm also a procrastinator, so something to be said for striking while the fire's hot). Happy to provide pics of any or, god forbid, all. Perhaps the Council will deem some stuffs acceptable, or possibly a heavy date with LuxeSwap is looming in my future? Can I get an amen?
     
  7. Monkeyface

    Monkeyface Senior member

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    I love my unlined/lightly lined and untipped grenadines, wish I had more of them. It makes for a much more interesting tie, perhaps a bit more on the casual side, but I've never found grenadines to be particularly formal. They're slighly see through, but not so much that it seems like it is full of holes.

    [​IMG]

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    Last edited: Feb 8, 2014
  8. sugarbutch

    sugarbutch Bearded Prick Dubiously Honored

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    AJL, it seems to me that you don't need our help, except perhaps for helping you decide which pieces to keep. Your plan is solid, and you already have a good foundation. If you've gained weight, you can either lose the weight or get similar items in your current size.
     
  9. Rudals

    Rudals Senior member

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    Where can I get a good belt buckle?
     
  10. mimo

    mimo Pernicious Enabler

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    On a good belt. Next!
     
  11. stevent

    stevent Senior member

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    Found this thread while browsing CM for the first time in a while, had a question regarding standard dress shoes / formality

    Currently I have:
    Black:
    G&G Oxford Black
    EG Epsom Black / Slate / Grey Suede
    Alden Plaza plain shell boot (trying to sell but at current offers probably just going to keep them)

    Meermin Museum Calf Brown Captoe Phillip 2 copy
    EG Wells
    G&G Regent


    Other than the Epsom I haven't worn any of these as I don't really need to dress up anymore. However I'm probably going to start interviewing soon for a few more conservative jobs (PE / VC, Management Consulting etc.) and was wondering if the Epsom would be fine for interviews / actual work? Navy / Charcoal suits only, white shirt. Main concern would be that eyelets plus grey suede visible when sitting would make shoe too casual. Budget wise not an issue but I feel it's a waste keeping all these dressier shoes that I never wear. Shouldn't have bought G&Gs but Spoo sale too good to pass up.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Thoughts? Also any reason to keep any of the brown shoes at all?
     
  12. luv2breformed

    luv2breformed Senior member

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    Ok three kops today. I know I'm not supposed to be kopping, but I thought all these deals were too good to pass up. Did I fail?

    POW SC. I bought this to flip, but it actually fits. I know I don't need ANOTHER light SC. Also, is it too orphan? Keep or flip?
    Tie. I thought this was a good neat for $1. Fail?

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Saw this Cashmere tie on the Bay for $25 NWOT. Seems like it could be a good staple for what I wear. My one hang up was the herringbone, but I thought since it was plain otherwise that it would be a nice texture. Didn't want to miss it, so I kopped. Fail?

    [​IMG]


    Ok, going to start purging shirts now.
     
  13. sugarbutch

    sugarbutch Bearded Prick Dubiously Honored

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    I wouldn't wear that boot to an interview. You want to keep the focus on what's coming out of your mouth.
    That looks like an orphaned suit jacket. Purple tie is just okay. Cashmere tie is nice.
     
  14. jrd617

    jrd617 Senior member

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    Steven, I would not wear any kind of boot to an interview. Especially a $1200 funky black suede/calf hybrid one. Way too sartorial for an interview.

    Boring black captoes are for interviews. (I might even argue that those GG's are too sleek for an interview, but I'll let you decide. I'm very round-toe biased)

    You should keep all of the brown shoes. Brown should be the core of your shoe wardrobe if you don't dress CBD every day. I have a modest dress shoe collection (~10 pair), but only own one pair of black shoes (captoes). All of the others are dark brown, mid brown, tan, chestnut, burgundy


     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2014
  15. jrd617

    jrd617 Senior member

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    Sugar beat me to it.

    +1
     

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